This is a repost from Yellow Peril, an ongoing project/ blog about Asian American narratives that I run with my friend Sue.
This project has been in the works in my head since about 2014. And now it’s finally real!!!
I’m very thankful for a tarot card I drew at work, and to Sue for giving me the final push that I needed (and for also agreeing to be my partner is this very vague and fuzzy project).
Yellow peril is a funny phrase to me, but that’s because I view and understand it from a place of privilege and from a context completely separate from its origin. For so long and for so many, yellow peril has been something that is very literal and threatening. Just a lil context, yellow peril was a phrase coined by sociologist Jacques Novikow in the 1890’s. It was rooted in the idea that East Asians, or Orientals as they used to call us, where an inherent threat to western culture, since we were primitive, greedy, children, but also had special powers (yes, very contradictory. I’m not sure how people made sense of this). Especially in the American context, the term has been the focus of so much propaganda that makes me feel some kind of way. It’s also very interesting to think about how we’re transformed from the fear of Yellow Peril to the model minority (an article topic that I’ve called dibs on).
Right now, I’m hoping we can use Yellow Peril for our own mobility. Lots of you, the future Yellow Peril family, have been asking me about what exactly the project entails and how to contribute.
Yellow Peril will be a chance for us to collect and catalog our stories and narratives: the things that we’re doing, feeling, or angry about. We want to collect the things that few seem interested in collecting because they are important, ever-changing, and right now. I come across little pockets of Asian American-ness in my life, and I want to create an anthology of those experiences. My hope is that we can document at least some of these moments and feelings, and meet some cool/empowered/loud Asian friends along the way. Right now, this project exists in the form of this blog where Sue and I will post stories, music, art, and rants that you send us. However, we have dreams of Yellow Peril taking different forms in the future.